Losing patience with Bush (Joe Scarborough)
It wasn't hard to figure out when Richard Nixon was screwed.
My father, who was a faithful member Nixon's Silent Majority, supported the 36th President throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Kent State and the Watergate hearings.
To George F. Scarborough, the Washington Post was the enemy, Walter Cronkite was a communist and John Dean was a spineless traitor.
Even as an 11 year old, I knew the gig was up when my dad opened up the paper one morning in August and whispered, "If he's done half of this stuff, he should be sent straight to jail."
The next day, Nixon resigned.
Thirty-two years later, the same guy who stood by Nixon to the very end turned away from the Duke-Boston College game to tell me that he was losing patience with another GOP leader.
"What's going on with Bush? I look at some of the things he's been doing and I just don't..."
Dad's voice trailed off.
This lifelong Republican who waited in line for hours in 1964 to cast his vote for Goldwater, and predicted the rise of Ronald Reagan in 1979, could not bring himself to verbalize what the President's critics have been saying for years now. That George Bush's war is a disaster and his administration is out of touch with the Silent Majority.
The record deficit. The port deal. Amnesty for illegal aliens. Bridges to nowhere. Skyrocketing gas prices. Iranian terrorists getting the Bomb.
It's all been enough to make hardcore Republicans like my dad start asking if there's any difference between the Republican Party they have always loved and the Democratic Party they have forever loathed.
A Republican President has to work hard to lose guys like my dad. But George Bush is close to losing George Scarborough.
Maybe that's why he's sitting at 38% in the polls and why his party's leaders are running for their lives.
Bush pays for his contempt of Congress (Joe Scarborough)
Payback is hell.
That's what White House staff have to be thinking, as Republican lawmakers kicked their President in the political teeth for the first time in five years.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will tell you that George W. Bush and his top staff members have never hidden their contempt for lawmakers on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue.
That's because the Bush White House has never considered Congress an equal partner in any program or initiative they launched.
I got a glimpse of this disdain when I was still in Congress. In fact, many of my Republican colleagues laughed that they got more respect from the Democratic President they had impeached a few years earlier.
Looking back on it, we did.
The President paid for his can't-be-bothered approach toward Congress when House and Senate members decided to stand up to Bush's veto threat. In doing so, lowly senators and congressmen embarrassed the President of the United States in full view of the world.
Still, Republicans on Capitol Hill are fretting that their President's port controversy will be another election year disaster for a party beaten and bruised by missteps and scandals. But they also wonder if the Bush Administration will finally accept them as equal partners in
this bloody political year.
The answers to those questions are yes and no.
That is bad news for a political party on the brink of disaster.
Iraq is not in a civil war! (Joe Scarborough)
Last week, the usual media suspects declared that civil war had broken out in the streets of Baghdad. A new Washington Post poll, Americans were listening. 80% now believe Iraq is heading to civil war.
Don’t believe everything you see on TV.
I don’t want to accuse any of my colleagues of stupidity, the suggestion that Iraq is currently engaged in a civil war is a conclusion that could be drawn by one who is either too stupid to be on TV or just liberal enough to have his own news show.
The term "civil war" suggests a country is being ripped apart by competing internal factions. And I’ll be damned if I have to explain this again for all the idiots who talk on TV every night without knowing the facts, but here I go again:
*60% of Iraq is made up of Shiites. Shiites were oppressed by Saddam Hussein for years and desperately want democracy to succeed. Their leader, the Grand Ayatollah Sistani, has been a voice of restraint. He has saved Iraq from further bloodshed and has told religious leaders they should oppose all forms of theocracy.
*20% of the country is made up of Kurds. Like the Shiites, Kurds were raped, slaughtered and gassed by Hussein. They also support democracy and fear the return of Saddam’s Sunnis to power.
*15% of the population is made up of Sunnis. Saddam’s sect has spent the last four decades oppressing the other 85% of Iraq. Far more brutal than South Africa pre-Mandela, the Sunnis kept power by running a Stalinist state. These thugs, by the way, are the New York Times’ faction of choice. The Times has been whining for years that Sunnis must have a stronger voice in Iraq’s new government. Screw representational democracy. Engage the oppressors. Was this the Times’ take on segregationists who lost power after the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
Even Sunni leaders who were in bed with Saddam Hussein want to avert a civil war. That’s why Sunni leaders began negotiating with Shiites and Kurds hours after the mosque explosion. Even they know it is foreign terrorists who are blowing up women and children in mosques and public markets. They also know that Zarqawi’s Muslim invaders in Iraq have lost the battle for the hearts and minds of Iraqis.
While talking heads in America and Europe were furiously wishing civil war on Iraq, the Iraqi army did an admirable job keeping peace last week after the Shiite mosque was blown apart. As the New York Post’s Ralph Peters reports from Iraq, far from leading that country down the path to civil war, the mosque bombing has shown Iraqis that its security forces have made great strides. Peters reports:
* The Iraqi army deployed over 100,000 soldiers to maintain public order. U.S. Forces remained available as a backup, but Iraqi soldiers controlled the streets.
* Iraqi forces behaved with discipline and restraint - as the local sectarian outbreaks fizzled, not one civilian had been killed by an Iraqi soldier.
* Time and again, Iraqi military officers were able to defuse potential confrontations and frustrate terrorist hopes of igniting a religious war.
* Forty-seven battalions drawn from all ten of Iraq’s army divisions took part in an operation that, above all, aimed at reassuring the public. The effort worked - from the luxury districts to the slums, the Iraqis were proud of their army.
Iraq is a bloody mess. And it will be a long, hard slog for our troops and the 90% of Iraqis who want democracy. They are not paying attention to the omnipotent latte sipping talking heads in Manhattan and Georgetown. Instead they are risking their lives to build a new, free Iraq.
If American elites would stop cheering for civil war, maybe Iraq’s experiment in democracy would have a better chance of succeeding.
Duke of shame (Joe Scarborough)
I have always been stupid enough to pick on people in power, while showing sympathy for those down on their luck. But I can’t seem to find any tears for my former colleague, Duke Cunningham.
What would lead a public servant to use their position to get rich? Who knows? But in this case the California congressman’s graft was so calculated that he made up a shopping list for his bribes.
Earlier today, Cunningham was slapped with a jail sentence of eight years. Sucker that I am for people who have fallen on hard times, I may actually send Duke a note cheering him on during this bleak time. But I will offer no sympathy.
In getting shipped to jail for what may prove to be a life sentence, Duke Cunningham got what he deserved.
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